Man's best friend meets man's best beverage

A new take on charitable giving. Photo: TheBrewLounge.com
The Beer Yard in Wayne, PA hosted an SPCA fundraiser on Labor Day Weekend 2010
The Beer Yard in Wayne, PA hosted an
SPCA fundraiser on Labor Day Weekend 2010

Serving beer at a charitable event is nothing new. But, your typical beef ‘n’ beer this is not.

In recent years, the craft brewing world has been a perfect partner in fundraisers for medical research (“Pints for Prostates” was begun by survivor and beer writer Rick Lyke), for the needs of homeless families (Sarasota’s Stairway to Belgium hosted such an event this summer), and for local organizations (the Newtown Blues and Brews in Pennsylvania benefits the local fire association and police department).

In the animal kingdom, “Brew at the Zoo” has become a popular annual event at many regional zoos. For example, the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore hosts one in May, the National Zoo in D.C. hosts one in July, and the Denver Zoo hosts one in September. And, Altoona’s Blair County Ballpark has hosted “Pints for Pets” for several years to benefit the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society.

from L-R: Nick Johnson, Tröegs; Andy Dickerson, Teresa's Next Door; Matt Guyer, Beer Yard; Frances Franchi, Delaware County SPCA; Owner, Famous Kirby's Chile Pretzels
L-R: Nick Johnson, Tröegs; Andy Dickerson,
Teresa’s Next Door; Matt Guyer, Beer Yard;
Frances Franchi, Delaware County SPCA;
Owner, Famous Kirby’s Chile Pretzels

Last weekend, in the suburban Philadelphia village of Wayne, renowned beer man Matt Guyer and his Beer Yard beer business joined forces with Harrisburg’s Tröegs Brewery, Shillington’s Famous Kirby Pretzels, and Wayne’s Teresa’s Next Door to raise money for the Delaware County SPCA.

The event was billed as a weekend-long fundraiser to help raise awareness and money for the local SPCA. Hopefully, an adoption or two would result as well.

This cutie stands a great chance of being adopted very soon
This cutie stands a great chance of
being adopted very soon

The cornerstone of the weekend was a three hour event on Saturday afternoon. The event was blessed with great weather for an outdoor event such as this. With the event set up out front of the store, dogs and people mingled, beers were being poured to sample, and meats were being grilled for those looking to have a late lunch or early dinner.

Fran Franchi, Delaware County SPCA’s development director, was overjoyed to see at least 100 people milling around the event and that there is a pending adoption for one of the dogs. Many in attendance brought their own dogs, several of which were rescue dogs.

This year, not only did sales of Tröegs generate $5 for each case, but a generous customer pledged to add an additional $1 for each case sold. From Tuesday morning’s tally, 96 cases of Tröegs beer were sold in support of the SPCA. With the stack of bills from food sales and the contribution jar, the unofficial total came to a $914 donation to the Delaware County SPCA.

Nick Johnson representing Harrisburg, PA's Tröegs Brewery
Nick Johnson representing  Tröegs Brewery
from Harrisburg PA 

Nick Johnson, eastern PA, NJ, and DE ‘Brewery Ambassador’, reminded me that closer to the brewery’s home on the same day they were working with Glenn Miller’s Beer & Soda Warehouse on a similar event. The event, Johnson reports, netted a $740 donation to the Harrisburg Humane Society.

‘Local’ is a word thrown around more than ever, often for good reason, in today’s world of food and beverage. On this particular Saturday of Labor Day weekend, a gathering of at least 100 people eating locally-produced pretzels and grilled meats, drinking locally-brewed craft beer, and donating to a local cause espoused all that is good in the world of ‘local living’.

For more pictures from the event, please visit The Brew Lounge.

UPDATE 9/10: BeerYard.com reported that the final tally came to 96 cases and a $1,091 donation to the SPCA. Great job to all involved!


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Bryan Kolesar

Bryan Kolesar has been tracking down great beer for over twenty years. From the most hard-to-find delicately balanced low alcohol beer to the big monsters weighing in at over 10% ABV, he has yet to find a style that does not have a story to tell and a taste to share. Though, when pushed, Kolesar has historically staked a claim to the Saison style as one of the most versatile and his favorite.

In 2005, Bryan co-founded The Brew Lounge blog/website as a canvas to illustrate the best of the craft brewing industry and to document his own travels within it. Though he has lived in Philadelphia and is currently headquartered in the city's western suburbs, Kolesar shares a wealth of information and images that he collects from his travels around the world and some of the best beers that he has tasted along the way.

In 2010, Kolesar came aboard the Communities section of The Washington Times to contribute stories from across the craft brewing industry as it continues more than ever its explosive growth amongst increasingly more of the mainstream alcohol-consuming public. 

While the beer - its tastes, aromas, and incredible pairing opportunities with food - is often the beginning of a story, he often finds it more interesting to dive into the stories behind the people, places, and events associated with the final product. 

Locally around Philadelphia, he has been named a Beer Writer of the Year finalist multiple times, hosted beer/running events during each annual Philly Beer Week, served as a Philly Beer Geek judge, paneled local beers for submission into the Great American Beer Festival competition, judged beer and food competitions, been featured in local publications chronicling the beer scene, and been named the "Best Beer Guy" of 2008. 

In addition to his beer-y pursuits, Kolesar works a professional career in the business world by day and dabbles in distance running, cooking, homebrewing, gardening, photography, and is a staunch advocate for animal rescue/adoption. He lives with his wife, Patty, of fifteen years and has been a long time, mostly suffering, supporter of local Philadelphia sports.

Contact Bryan Kolesar

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